Party Games for Little Kids

Here are some party games that may be appropriate for pre-schoolers. Not only are these party games fun, but they have also proven to be educational. You'll find that kids already know some of these games from school.

For the really wee tots, try some of the following party games.

Simon Says

This game is very simple and children really love it. You'll never see them concentrate so hard!

Have the children stand facing you or another child who is deemed to be “Simon.” The person playing Simon gives the other children an instruction that almost always begins with “Simon Says.”

Winning Plays

Simon Says is one of the first group games I learned to play. It was actually used as a teaching method in my nursery school class. The teachers taught children the names of their physical features by using this game.

If Simon says “Simon says touch your nose,” all the children must touch their noses. Then Simon might say: “Simon says hop on one foot.” All the children should then hop on one foot. Then Simon might say: “Hold up two fingers.” If any of the children holds up two fingers, they are out. Why? Because Simon didn't say so. If the instruction doesn't start with “Simon says” and a child follows the instruction, he or she is out and must sit down. The last child standing gets to be the next Simon.

Duck Duck Goose

This is another game you might have learned in the classroom. My kindergarten teachers used to let us play just before the end of the school day. We used to look forward to it everyday.

All the kids sit in a circle facing each other. One child is picked to be “It.” The child who is “It” walks around the outside of the circle (the backs of the children) and touches each child on the head saying, “duck … duck … duck ….” Each head touched gets a “duck.” When a child is touched on the head and “It” says “goose,” the child who is the “goose” must stand up and chase “It” around the outside of the circle. “It” has to try and sit in the empty spot vacated by the goose. The goose has to try and tag “It” before “It” can sit in his or her spot. If the goose cannot tag “It,” he or she becomes “It” and the duck-duck-goosing starts again.

If “It” is tagged by the goose, he or she must sit in the center of the circle. The goose then becomes “It” for the next round. The person in the center cannot move until another player is tagged—then they can take that person's spot in the circle.

Telephone or Grapevine

Telephone is a great party game for kids of all ages. I've even played it with my adult friends. It's always good for a laugh.

High Score

Telephone is a great game to play when all the kids are seated around the table in their party hats, munching on cake. Keep those little minds busy!

Everyone sits in a circle about arm's-length from each other. Someone in the circle starts by whispering a message to the person to his or her left or right. The message should only be one short sentence. The person who receives the message must then pass the message onto the person next to him or her. The last person to receive the message must deliver it aloud to the entire room. The kids will really have a good giggle when they realize just how misconstrued the message became as it traveled from child to child.

By the time the message reaches the last person it is rarely in its original form and can even be completely misconstrued. It just goes to show the damage that gossip can do! By the time a story travels around a room, it's seldom in its original form, so imagine what can happen to a story if it travels around an entire school! This is a way to teach kids about gossip and even proper telephone message-taking skills.

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Excerpted from The Complete Idiot's Guide to Family Games © 2002 by BookEnds, LLC. All rights reserved including the right of reproduction in whole or in part in any form. Used by arrangement with Alpha Books, a member of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.

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